Lexington, FOP reach agreement for four-year contract

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 10:33 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - An agreement has been reached for a new contract with the City of Lexington and the Fraternal Order of Police.

City officials say the four-year contract features pay increases designed to improve recruitment and retention.

We’re told the contract is retroactive back to the first full pay period after July 1, 2021. So, an officer new yearly pay will be adjusted from $41,000 to $47,000 and every class coming forward will start at $47,000.

Officers will also see a $5,000 by March 2022. The city is using federal COVID-19 relief funds for those.

Two civilians will also be added to the Internal Police Disciplinary Board, a change sought by the Commission on Racial Justice and Equality to improve accountability and transparency. They’ll be joined by five members of the command staff and two members representing the Fraternal Order of Police.

“One of my top priorities was to have civilians on our internal police disciplinary review board,” Mayor Linda Gorton said. “This contract puts two civilians on the internal review board. It’s a big change. This is a big step.”

Under the previous contract, only violations within the last five years could be considered when an officer was disciplined, but that language has been removed.

We’re told the contract covers 597 Sergeant and Officer positions.

“We are investing in our police. We knew that recruiting was an issue and we knew that retention was an issue. We have to get them in the door and we have to keep them. So, we focused on starting pay and pay to retain officers,” said Mayor Gorton. “We know that we needed to improve our competitiveness. We are competing with everyone in the country, basically.”

The contract now must be approved by the Urban County Council. It will get an initial vote next Tuesday.

If the council makes any changes to that agreement, it would have to go back to the Fraternal Order of Police so their members could vote on it again.

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